Tagged ethics

Conscious consumer rights

Written down for the first time in 1964 by Kennedy, brought back again a few years ago by Fearless, the new agency of Bogusky, this is a statement I wish I would have come up with myself. How many of us working in advertising honestly dare to follow these guidelines in every campaign we present to our clients?

conciousconsumerbillofrights

Is decreased consumption and advertising compatible?

Working with advertising as well as working in any business selling products to consumers you are facing the moral dilemma of consumption. We need to sell things in order to earn money so that we can buy food and pay for our housing but while doing so we also participate in increasing the consumption of goods we don’t really need.

But at the same time as I’m fighting my bad consciousness from working in advertising the same thing also gives me hope. Advertising can make us consume in a bad way, but it can also make us consume in a better and more responsible way. The consumers are more and more asking for this and more and more companies are also starting to work this way. Advertising can play a big role in this development by helping the consumers make better choices and helping the companies develop their businesses to fit the new world. Advertising is more about creating PR today as an effect of the digital development with for example social media forcing companies to become more transparent. This way the companies will still need advertising to help them develop their business and services that brings good PR to the company while contributing to a sustainable development.

Read my previous post on the same subject, If propaganda works for bad intentions could we also use it for good?, and watch these videos for inspiration. We can change the world!

If propaganda works for bad intentions could we also use it for good?

Yes and it’s simply called PR. Edward Bernays (1891-1995) used the term PR to explain the concept of talking to the masses for other purposes than bad intentioned political propaganda.

In Think of me as evil WWF brings up to discussion the responsibility of advertisers to help spreading messages that helps create a better world. Advertisers has since long been haunted with the bad consciousness of contributing to higher consumption, promotion of obsolete stereotypes and of putting the well-being of your ego in front of the living situation of future generations. We all working in advertising have our chance to deciding what impact we want to have on the world. Our messages do have impact and we can influence what this impact will be used for.

How can advertising make a change?

One thing that I like about working in advertising is that I can have the opportunity to change something with what we are doing. One thing I would like to change is the way people behave and feel like in public spaces.

In Sweden where I come from it is often very cold during the winter and when you are outside you are just on your way somewhere which makes all people outside very alienated from each other. Is there some way we can make people share something and be more happy together? After all public spaces is where we have the chance to connect with anyone in the physical world. I love the digital but we need the human contact as well.

Watch the video and visit www.improveverywhere.com/ for more! Really fun but most importantly it is fun! Thanks for sharing Yentl!

I wrote about the same subject in an older blog post about an installation at a museum here in Buenos Aires, Malla Electronica. The most interesting thing about this installation wasn’t the installation itself but what happened with people around it. Without one person looking at the installation it was hard for others to notice it, and once the next person has seen it too all the people who are looking at it shares something. The gathered people recognize the shared experience with a smile.

This was also our goal with The Living Room – to place something in a boring public space to create a fun experience where strangers could meet.

Companies who would cheer up the environment like this would get a lot of fans I believe. Maybe something to think about?